So tell me about DL Paris


#1

Now that my WDW trip has ended, I am starting to dream about my next Disney vacation. DH and I will not be planning any trips to either DL or WDW for awhile due to SWGE so that leaves visiting Disney in new countries! Anyone who has been to DL Paris please let me know:

  • The size of the parks

  • How crowd levels compare to DL and WDW

  • The best time to visit

  • Would it be helpful to speak French?

Merci mes amis!


#2

I went to DLP just for the day with my friends when we were studying abroad. I don’t know about crowd levels, but we went in late April and had nice weather; it was in the upper 70s I believe. You also do not need to know French, all the signs are in both French and English. I know enough to communicate, but my friends don’t know any and were completely fine.


#3

I have never been to DLP, but have been to Paris a few times and I have almost no french speaking skills and have managed my way around Paris fine. I have heard that DLP is very English speaking friendly.


#4

Cracks knuckles
Okay let’s do this. So we’re DLP veterans, 50 park days over 12 years. However we only ever visit in low season so that does bias our experience on crowds somewhat.
As you’ve probably seen, opinions do vary, but as our repeat visits suggest, we absolutely love Disneyland Paris. It’s our ‘home’ Disney and will always have a special place in our hearts.
It’s beautiful, that’s one of the key things many say about it, that it’s the most beautiful of them all. I only went to WDW as a kid so can’t really remember enough to compare, but we love it.
It has two parks, as you probably know. Disneyland Park is substantially smaller than the Magic Kingdom, but otherwise it’s very similar in layout. The hub and spoke model around the Castle, in this case it’s Sleeping Beauty’s. And a big difference is you can go in, and under the castle. Inside you’ll find shops, and then the floor above is a room with the story of Sleeping Beauty in stained glass and tapestries, it’s magical. But best of all are the secret caves under the castle where the 60ft dragon lives, and breathes! Scared our kids when they were little, but the good kind of scare that makes them want to go back again and again!
The Studios Park is probably similar in size to Florida’s, but it has what seems like a much more comprehensive Toy Story Land, although the Slinky ride is just a circular ride, nothing like SDD.
The tram tours used to be a big part of the site but has been under refurbishment forever, it was very outdated in parts. This is where new big rides are rumoured to be added in the big expansion, and like Florida, it needs it. The soon to be coming to WDW Ratatouille ride and Crush Coaster are exceptional though.
In terms of size the huge bonus is that pretty much EVERYTHING is walkable.
https://www.disneylandparis.com/en-gb/maps/
Have a look at that map and you can see how the Disneyland Park and Studios are just a three minute stroll from each entrance. As is the Village. The deluxe hotels are all within a ten minute walk, and even moderate and value can be done, although buses are a good alternative. It’s all really close together, which we love.
So in terms of timing, you could do Disneyland Park in a day, and Studios in half a day if you really pushed it. But we take five days, and enjoy it all properly with some rest time in there too. Three would be a minimum I’d recommend to anyone.
A few key differences too, it has the old style fastpass system where you just get a physical ticket, although they are just starting to explore purchasable FP upgrades, so watch for that. Crowd levels when we go are super low, although noticeably peak at weekends. But it’s definitely got busier over the years as has WDW. But Jan to March, there are really quiet days with almost no queues. We’ve ridden Peter Pan five times in a row before. So in terms of best time to visit, that’s all I can recommend. Just google French school holidays and avoid those. UK ones too if you can.
Another huge difference is your hotel package includes your park tickets. You can buy hotel only places but by default most of the deals are full packages. You can imagine my shock when I found out this wasn’t the case in WDW… Prices continue to rise but we’ve had four nights in a hotel, five nights park tickets for £700-800 for a family of five, regularly.
A great trick that I should probably post about in another thread is you can search for the best deals across all the Disney Europe sites. UK is often the best but before I’ve bought them from France or Germany and got 40% off the headline prices. European law means you have to be allowed to do this. Just change the language and then use Google translate to figure out what’s going on. It’s often worth it for the big savings, or free dining. Offers vary hugely from country to country.
As far as translation, that’s all you’ll ever need. Every cast member speaks good English. And yes, they probably aren’t as over the top friendly as I’m sure the US cast members are, but on the whole in all our time we’ve only ever encountered a couple of sour ones. It’s still VERY Disney, just perhaps 8/10 rather than 12/10.
The one time language is an issue is some rides. English is very, very widely catered for but there’s just a few like the bizarrely macabre Snow White ride that’s all in French. I like that, that it’s not completely Anglicised. Shows have a mix of French and English, our kids have never struggled with it at all, it’s done well.
There is definitely the Disney Bubble experience too, but it’s just a little less strong then WDW as far as I can see. This might be because of the very cool fact that the whole resort has a mainline train terminal at the heart of it. So it brings the outside world into the area a bit more. You get street hawkers selling cheap glow Eiffel towers in between the parks and the Disney Village, as the shopping and food area is called.
The other factor with the train station right in the centre is that Paris is just 40 minutes away on a cheap train ride - an all day unlimited ticket into Paris with the metro, is 18 euros, and there are often deals on those for example free for kids.
Every few years we’ll take advantage of that and take a day out to visit Paris, which is a stunning city. But actually my favourite use of the train is to take it just one stop, and get off at the also Disney owned Val D’Europe mall, which is huge and very French, with lots of good restaurants, and also an enormous ‘Auchan’ hypermarket where we fill up on wonderful cheap french food and wine and everything we could want. It’s a major part of our holiday there.
Personally in recent years we love to drive to Disney, just because of the freedom it offers. And so we stay at the Davy Crockett lodge, which offers good value accommodation for up to 6 adults. Something we plan to check out soon is the new half owned by Disney ‘Villages Nature’ which is a self contained villa park with giant indoor water park and heated outdoor lagoon. You can get packages that include park tickets with a stay there too, and it’s quite unusual compared to anything else Disney does I think.
I hope that’s been useful, do fire back any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Simon


#5

Fantastic report. Many thanks!


#6

I was there in September of last year.

The Disneyland park is fairly large, and holds the crowds easily, but does generate long lines on weekends even during slower seasons. Weekdays seemed very easy to do during September.

Walt Disney Studios park is smaller, like DHS, but laid out sideways by comparison. I tend to feel like the crowd recommendation above is true there, too.

I really enjoyed my trip - my TR is linked below. Have fun!!!

https://forum.touringplans.com/t/bouncing-around-like-a-cup-with-a-crack-a-disneyland-paris-report/49688?u=mousegirl42


#7

Thank you for all of the great info and tips!

So it’s sounds very similar to DL Resort in CA in terms of size. In 2017, we did three park days and hopped back and forth whenever we wanted.

Thank you also for the travel tips into Paris! When we do eventually go, we’ll do plenty of touring outside of the park. This will also give be a reason to finally learn to speak French; I am Cajun French but left Louisiana before I was able to become fluent. Maybe @jflaff can help me out!


#8

Sounds great !!! I originally come from the very east of Québec (Gaspé peninsula) which is very close to where the Cajuns (we call them Acadiens) came from in 1755. That would be a much better place to learn French the way we speak it. Much more musical and beautiful than in France LOL :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#9

My dad lives in Iberia Parish in Acadiana! :smile:


#10

My husband and I just visited Disneyland Paris over the summer during our honeymoon. It was his first time there and my 2nd time there. Let me put it this way. Disneyland Paris makes DCA and MK look like Six Flags. The park is absolutely gorgeous and takes immgenering detail to a new level.

To answer your questions:

Size of the parks: Disney Studios is rather small, but Disneyland Paris is rather large. However, it has less attractions than MK and DCA, so there’s a lot of open areas to explore, making it feel rather empty even on busy days. There’s simply more space for the crowds to fill.

Crowd levels: Much lower than in the states. Even in the peak of the summer, only a handful of rides had lines over an hour.

Best time to visit: I’ve only gone in the spring and summer, and both were great. Weather was fine on both occasions.

Is it helpful to speak French: Everyone speaks English and is incredibly hospitable, but they tended to go even more above and beyond if you at least started a conversation with “Bonjour! Je ne parle pas francis. Parlez-vous anglais?”

Another couple bits of advice:

There are several hotels just off property. They’re all nice, cheaper, and a 15-20 minute walk to the main gate. Most have complementary shuttles as well.

On your final day, you can check your luggage at the train station (it’s just outside the main gate in their version of Downtown Disney) at the Disney counter for a small fee. It makes your return to Paris much easier.

If you’re going for 3 days or more, consider getting an annual pass for one of you. If you do, the annual pass holder can purchase same-day tickets for the other person at a significant discount, both of you can take advantage of early magic hours, you will be offered complimentary non-alcoholic cocktails at table service restaurants, you can purchase Photo Pass at a discount, and you will receive a discount on food and merchandise. With all the discounts, you will save money.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!


#11

How many days would you consider ‘‘enough’’ for DL Paris ? I know this can be rather variable from one family to another but to give you perspective, for WDW ouf family likes to do at the very least 6 park days on a single trip and for DL California we would be very frustrated if less than 4 days.

Thanks ! :slight_smile:


#12

We go for five every time nowadays, 3 is never enough for us, 4 will do, and with five days it gives us the option of one day or evening in Paris.
If you’re a big Disney fan and it’s the core of the trip you want at least 3. If you are tacking it on to something else minimum of two just to see most of it across most parks.


#13

Thanks. I am actually thinking about a possible summer 2020 trip. I would like to spend 1 month in France, several days in Paris itself, Disneyland, Asterix park and then the rest in the south for a lot of beach time.

So if we don’t count the city of Paris and only think of Disney time, 4 days would be good ?


#14

Assuming you’re a Disney fan from the fact you’re on this forum, yes, 4 gives you time to do it all even if the parks are busy. You could do it in three but four lets you enjoy it properly in our experience (and we go at very quiet times).
Whatever the time of year they get MUCH busier at weekends (although the parks are open longer) so I’d suggest you try and make those weekdays and check French school holidays as if you can avoid those it makes a big difference. UK school holidays are next most important - we break up the last week of July (some might be a week earlier). Avoid that and August if you can.


#15

We went for 3 and were able to see and do everything, plus revisit our favorites multiple times. But if you know your family likes 6 days while visiting the similar-sized California resort, then do 6 days.

Also, I highly encourage that you visit Paris and Versailles if you and your family haven’t been. Paris is about a 40 min train ride from the resort, and Versailles is about 30 min or so from Paris if I recall correctly.

If you plan on doing Paris and Versailles, I have a ton of advice and tips (so many I’m legit considering writing a book).


#16

These are things I can’t miss when I go to Paris and In no particular order:
DLP
Eiffel Tower
The Louvre
Palace of Versailles
Notre Dame
The Catacombs
Arc De Triomphe

With 3 days at DLP, how much time would I need for everything else?


#17

There’s two things I’d add to that list, one is a boat cruise - we loved the one that left from Pont Neuf more to the east, it’s cheaper and you can book in advance online to save even more. It also exits just across the river from the Louvre and that’s the island Notre Dame is on, so really convenient.
The other, and in fact we did this instead of the Eiffel Tower last time, is the brilliant Montparnasse Tower. It’s got an incredible observation deck up on the 56th floor from which you get the most amazing views of all of Paris, and it’s directly lined up with the Eiffel Tower. No queues, nice and calm compared to the madness of going up the Eiffel, which of course, you can’t actually see, when you’re on it!
We take a day to do a bus tour, boat cruise and visit Notre Dame and the Louvre. We’ve never done the catacombs but I think it’s only about an hour to see them.
You’d need another day to do Versailles as it’s out of town.
So two days for those, plus the three at DLP.
Given that, do make sure you check out the new Villages Nature accommodation (if you’re driving) as it’s an interesting joint project with Disney, and you get three days park tickets I think, when you stay for five days, so it might suit you well (it’s designed as its own self contained resort too).


#18

I would add many things to the list, Paris is one of the greatest city in the world, but at the very least, don’t miss:

Musée d’Orsay (arguably as important as the Louvre)
Les Invalides (military museum + Napoléon’s tomb)
Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre
Père Lachaise cemetary


#19

At least 3 more days then. You probably want to spend the majority of a day at the Louvre (their website offers a bunch of self-guided tours, and there is a guided “Masterpieces of the Louvre” or “Welcome to the Louvre” tour that is excellent and not too expensive), you need AT LEAST 1 full day at Versailles, and the other three you need an hour or two a piece. Do your research though and book tickets in advance. It will save you a TON of time, especially at the Eiffel Tower and the Catacombs. Also, Notre Dame offers free guided tours of the interior and exterior of the church. The only thing not included are the Bell Towers (that’s a special ticketed self-guided tour).


#20

Yes to all 4 of these.